Changhua County mulls zoning project expansion

THIRD PHASE::The county commissioner said that the proposed project would include 120 manufacturers, some of which have been illegally dumping pollution

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - Page 3

The Changhua County Government said it is considering the expansion of its electroplating zones to bring major polluters under centralized control to combat illegal effluent discharge.

In a meeting on Monday with Industrial Development Bureau officials in Taipei, Changhua County Commissioner Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) said the county was seeking to establish the third phase of an electroplating zone project in the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park in the county’s Lugang Township (鹿港).

The proposed project would establish a 50-hectare zone and contain 120 electroplating manufacturers, Wei said, adding that the county hopes to control industrial wastewater more effectively with zone-specific treatment and a system to eliminate illicit discharges.

Measuring 40.86 hectares, the park’s phase one and phase two electroplating zones accommodate 153 metal processing plants and are nearing capacity, the county government said, adding that with 539 plants in the county, establishing a new electroplating zone is a top priority.

The move is aimed at eliminating farmland pollution caused by electroplating factories, which have repeatedly been found to have discharged untreated sewage containing heavy metals into irrigation systems via underground pipes, the county government said.

A total of 271.63 hectares of the county’s farmland has been contaminated with heavy metals, with 44.1 hectares remaining fallow since the county government and the Environmental Protection Administration started a pollution investigation in 2004, the county government said.

The proposal is the latest in a series of heavy metal management policies.

Bureau director Wu Ming-ji (吳明機) said the bureau agreed to the proposed expansion project, as pollution prevention is a policy priority.